Background: Few studies have examined the incidence of uncomplicated peptic ulcer or the trends in factors affecting its incidence.
Aim: To estimate the incidence rate of uncomplicated peptic ulcer in the UK from 1997 to 2005 and report temporal changes in the main known preventive and risk factors.
Methods: Population-based cohort study of 1 049 689 patients enrolled in The Health Improvement Network in the UK. We estimated the incidence rate of uncomplicated peptic ulcer and evaluated temporal trends in demographic characteristics and prescription patterns for various anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective agents.
Results: Overall uncomplicated peptic ulcer incidence was 0.75 cases per 1000 persons-years, declining from 1.1 to 0.52 cases per 1000 person-years between 1997 and 2005. Distributions of age, gender and alcohol habits were similar in 1997 and 2005. The proportion of documented Helicobacter pylori-negative cases increased from 5% to 12%. Monthly prevalence of subjects with prescriptions for traditional non-aspirin NSAIDs changed from 7.7% to 6.8%, Coxibs from 0% to 0.7%, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) from 2.4% to 7.4%. The proportion of subjects on prescription NSAIDs on PPIs increased continuously over time.
Conclusion: A reduction in H. pylori-related peptic ulcers, changing patterns in NSAID use and increasing PPI use may have contributed to a decline in uncomplicated peptic ulcer incidence in the UK.